In 2014, the spring black bear hunting season pilot was introduced to support sustainable black bear hunting opportunities. Long before the pilot was introduced NOTO had advocated for the return of a Spring bear hunt on behalf of bear outfitters in the Province. Today, we received the formal announcement that the Government has decided to retain the spring bear hunt beyond the pilot. This announcement also came with the following changes:

  • MNRF will require a single report from resident hunters, whether they hunt in the spring or the fall. Hunters will still be required to provide details around their hunt and if a bear is harvested. If a hunter purchased a bear licence but did not participate in the hunt or harvest an animal, they will still require to submit a report. There have been no changes to the reporting requirements for non-resident hunters and we continue to require a report after each season. This change will come into effect on January 1, 2021.
  • The bear hunt will be reduced on the Bruce Peninsula in order to support the long-term sustainability of the declining black bear population in Wildlife Management Units 82A, 83 and 84. It will take place for one week from May 1 to May 7 and the fall season will be closed in Wildlife Management Units 82A, 83 and 84. This change will come into effect on May 1, 2020. 
  • MNRF is proceeding with the changes to eliminate the special hunting opportunities for non-resident landowners and non-residents hunting with an immediate relative, as well as requiring persons providing hunting services to residents within a bear management area to require a Licence to Provide Bear Hunting Services. These changes will come into effect on January 1, 2021. 

View official announcement here.